One of my favourite types of LEGO creation is those that you can stare at for hours and never look at the same bit twice. Take this lively Chinatown square by the Escalona brothers David and Diego, which is to become part of a larger collaborative project. To me it is reminiscent of the Ninjago City modular sets – so much going on, and yet there is a perfect balance of eye candy and space to keep it from feeling overcrowded.
Let’s explore some more of this colourful district…
I was going to write that there is plenty going on at the front of this digital model, but one of the great things about the square is that there isn’t really a front or back. The main picture above is certainly busier with tuk-tuks, bikes and signs aplenty (more of which in a moment), but the other side of the model lets the underlying architecture breathe a little more. The curved pagoda roofs are a simple but effective way of breaking up the square lines of the buildings, and the bright colours make it a real feast for the eyes.
But it’s not just the eyes that are in for a feast! The squid (or calamari, perhaps) sign above the main entrance draws the eye, but round the corner is an equally characterful pig sign presumably indicating some delicious food inside. Don’t miss the chopsticks sticking out of a bowl next to it! Another relatively simple but incredibly effective bit of parts usage.
Round the other side, we can see some of the details that keep this build grounded. It’s easy to get lost among the bright colours and symbols, so more mundane elements like the air conditioning units dotted around the outside or the guttering and fire escapes will be recognisable to anyone who has walked around districts like these in big cities. I especially like how the Pac-Man sign is plugged into the mains as well!